Tryst is an unexpected power outage, or running out of gas on a deserted stretch of highway. Tryst is a conversation with a group of strangers in a stalled elevator, fixing your own toaster, forgetting your cell phone, losing your keys. Tryst is an anonymous note. Tryst is finding the benign in a world of threats. Tryst is the game you play with traffic lights as you ride your bike across a city. Tryst is no umbrella in a rainstorm, an appointment with nobody, a long walk for no reason. Tryst is quitting your job. Tryst is flirting. Tryst is the baby you make faces at across the aisle of a crowded bus. Tryst is the fluid experience that surrounds the things you can describe. Tryst can't be bought. Tryst is a delicious joke. Tryst is three-dimensional. Tryst is making your own fun and your own dinner. Tryst is trust with a sidelong glance and a rear-view mirror. Tryst is reconfiguring architecture. Tryst is taking care and letting go at the same time. Tryst is a secret kiss. Tryst is spacing out. Tryst is listening to a tall tale with an open mind.
TRYST was formed in 2003 by Paul Benney, Clarinda Mac Low and Alejandra Martorell . It is an artistic and social experiment, where interaction with the public and imagination fuse to create an unexpected set of circumstances. In TRYST we seek to point out the commodified structures of modern existence in a performance form that is simultaneously accessible and challenging. ting subtle alterations of everyday street life , we can begin the process of questioning our surroundings, and the definitions of “freedom” that we’re given by government and society. In 2003, the pilot project of TRYST included five events: a walking trio with red umbrellas in Washington Square Park; an exploration of Fifth St. at night, with flashlights; an “activated street” with Assisted Street Crossing (ASC) and tap dancing lessons; a tour of the Harlem Meer in Central Park , led by business suits rediscovering a natural state; and a “dérive” or silent walk through Chinatown .
We are particularly interested in how people live physically day-to-day, and what is considered “acceptable” physical behavior. We also want our work to be physically and financially accessible to a wide audience. We want to make a situation that is entertaining and engaging, but where the real experience is left up to the individual audience member's choice and whim. By engaging these decision-making organs, and creating something out of the ordinary in the public realm, we hope to wake up the people who encounter us by chance or by choice.